double step kazoo within minutes that. if it doesn't, it will eventually crash. i thought it would happen by now. it hasn't. it could go on a lot longer than we think i suspect. >> china's runaway with us. we will all be across the right to take more questions than to sign books. feel free to join us over there. [applause] >> thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> lynn sherr, former journalist for abc news recalls the life of sally ride come the first american woman in space. this program is on booktv. >> so, onto the reason you are out here. pleased to welcome lynn sherr to discuss her new biography, "sally ride." we are all familiar with the persona as i recommend many young women like myself wanted to cocoa beach is thicker and thanks to this thanks to the snippet you can feel like we know her better than ever. the book shows a more personal side while still showing a well-known and compelling tale that is the story. the book clearly benefits from the access to satisfy his family and friends and cooperation in her research interests really nice and it does to share. and of course set to a ross of
abc news where she covered a variety of topics including manassas they shuttle program. we are so glad she is here tonight and will start off with a quick video. please join me in welcoming her to politics & prose. [applause] >> this is from a tv pals, abc franklin and this is done by the publisher. among the early for racing studio. i'm actually very pleased with the way it turned out. it's about five minutes long. ♪ >> i'm lynn sherr and this is history in five and i'm going to tell you five incredible things about sally ride, america's first woman in space. on july 20, 1969 from neil
armstrong became the first human means soil. a teenager was among the untold aliens watching closely that night but had no idea that she too would one day make oscar history. ♪ sally was a baby boomer born in 1951, a valley girl from encino or los angeles suburb who was ranked a tennis player. she really shouldn't have what it took him hours joked that kept her from turning pro with my forehand. sally was fascinated by science, specifically astrophysics come in the of astronomy. she was flustered parents and teachers in high school and college who encouraged her scientific passion.
♪ my forehand. sally was fascinated by science, specifically astrophysics, the physics of astronomy. she was busted parents and teachers in high school who encouraged her scientific passion and confided in her best friend she wanted to be famous by winning the nobel prize. sally never considered a career at nasa because she didn't think women would be eligible to fly. it was only 1977 when nasa is pretty wide net to recruit women and minorities that she got interested. >> i want to get up as soon as i can. that means i would like to be the first woman up. but i don't have any great desire to be the first woman. ♪
sally wasn't the first woman in space. two russians be sure to orbit. in 1978 commissary became one of the first experiment chosen to train as nasa astronauts. six women in a class of 35 new guys. >> i don't mind people asking a question about what i'll do in orbit and whether i'll do any of the cooking on orbit unless it is asked by someone who expects the only reason i am flying is because they need someone to serve coffee. >> she is here because she's more qualified to be here. >> she and her colleagues trained the same as the man, parasailing into shark infested waters, practicing parachute landing but she got totally hooked on flying. >> there's nothing i'd rather be doing right now. i want to fly as many times as they'll let me fly.
>> after four years of training, nasa selected sally to be the first american woman to fly. >> i do feel some pressure to not mess up you >> publicity and hoopla surrounding the u.s. female flyer made her an instant celebrity. >> how did you respond? how do you take it as a human being? what do you do? >> why doesn't anybody ask rick those questions? [laughter] >> 10, nine, 80, seven, six, five, four. >> she was 32 on june 18th 1933 when she lifted off the challenger. >> liftoff of sts have been in
the woman astronaut. >> sally felt the immense power of the rockets pushing her off the earth and half a million people lined the causeways at the kennedy space center in florida, cheering ride, sally, ride. and then she voted wistfully throughout the cabin when they reached orbit. during the seven-day flight, sally took in the view from the shuttle when does. >> been able to put on the pressure suit and open the hatch and step outside and have a view of essentially the universe in front of you. >> she was especially riveted by the thing royal blue line of earth's atmosphere. that's otherwise she would later say. it is so clear from the perspective how fragile our existences. sally ride was my friend for 30
years. but while i thought they knew her well, i really only went about her by writing this biography. sally was a fiercely private individual who avoided public appearances when she could and always preferred the company of one or two people to a crowd. sally was superb compartmentalize or relate to control the narrative of her run life in an era when homosexuality was not widely good, sally kept her orientation private people at nasa commission is made fellow astronaut comes to you totally come a bond that lasted five years. she then entered a relationship with another woman, kim o'shaughnessy for a quarter century. sally never talked about her life, never came out publicly, but supported team's decision to reveal their partnership after her death from pancreatic cancer in 2012. so who was sally ride? she was a space traveler who
salaries up as an educator. she wanted middle-school close to feel the excitement she felt another challenge to match the thrill of watching dinner on in the young girl's brain when she learned but pants. sally was especially intrigued by the possibilities of the planet mars and often told children they would be the ones to step foot there. that might be one of you she said then that would be cool. that will be very cool. >> i was very honored that nasa chose me to be the first woman. it's time people realize women in this country can do any job they want to do. >> and output sally ride. i hope you all are aware that it was this past week that was the 31st anniversary of sally's
flight. she landed yesterday dirty one years ago exactly. so we are celebrating an anniversary, which is very exciting. and thank you for being here and particularly on the abc friends. is that frank? my goodness, so many people here. thanks for coming and letting me tell you more about this terrific woman who was somebody i covered in somebody who was my friend. that's a little bit about sally. i'll tell you a little bit more. i will tell you that her name is now attached to a number of important things. several schools around the country, and impact crater on the moon and outer space science venture and soon a research vessel will be called the sally k. ride and scientists will be able to look beneath the sea for exactly the same sally was up in
the sky. she was awarded the presidential medal of freedom by president obama. in her lifetime should her lifetime she played herself in an episode of the tv show, touched by an angel and she threw at the first pitch at a world series game. she was regularly begged her to run for office, any office and often has to be the nasa in a straighter. she turns down. sally was way too private to undertake such a public job. plus, sally grew up and lived most of her life in southern california and the perfect climate of southern california and when one of her nasa colleagues said to her during one change of administration, what would it take to get you to take the job of nasa administrator? sally said if they move it to california. she was also funny and she vs and non-see how so said my friend. her real name was indeed the sally ride. how does that happen? as she was not the inspiration for the rocket, mustang sally.
in fact, sally is to always say she ran from that time her entire life. i will tell you at the launch, recovering it further at the time? the word. the saudi most heard was bright sally ride. the favorite sign at the kennedy space center was along the strip and cocoa beach there was a tank that had a huge marquee and it said bright sally ride and you guys can tag along, too. last night much more to sally flakiness being acknowledged by billy joel and the song we didn't light he enlisted 56 historic figures are moments over the past 40 years to celebrate his own university. sally ride became lafortune
heavy-metal suicide. is the song shot to the top of the billboard hot 100, sally heard it on the radio for the first time in nearly drove off a cliff when she heard it. billie jean king who is a good friend of hers told me billie jean also heard for the first time in the review and a return billie jean would hear the song, she still turns up the volume so she can coach sally's name and i.d. two. so why all the tributes and why the fuss about this woman? i want to start with a cartoon. when sally died two years ago pancreatic cancer at the age of 61, there were a number of political cartoons and papers paying tribute to her and most of them would show a constellation in the sky shape of her initials with the woman said no -- symbol or whatever. this is a teenage girl's bedroom on the walls are pictures of space shuttles and rocket ships
and on the shelves are six textbooks in astrophysics textbooks and it's a surprisingly meek bedroom for a teenage girl. she is sitting there with her ponytail looking at the tv monitor, excuse me the computer monitor. in the same sally ride, 1951, 2012. standing behind her is her mom and her mom jeans and the girl is talking to her mom. what she is saying is we, are you saying there was a time when there weren't any women astronauts? yes indeed. this is really what the story is about. this is why she is so important. sally estes said in the video did not grow up with astronaut dreams. she wanted to be a scientist and then she -- should be tennis player ever that didn't work out
as acte science. she was totally committed to being a scientist. was quite sure she would be an academic all of her life and do research. one day she went to stanford. she got her undergraduate, her masters in her phd at stanford in physics -- astrophysics. in january 1977, she is finishing her last year of her phd he says and goes to stanford student union and get a cup of coffee and a doughnut to wake up before she goes to class. she cites data picks up a copy of the stanford daily and they're above the fold is an article, big headline that says nasa to recruit women. sally reads the article, sees the requirements for this new category of astronaut cognition specialist. says to herself, i could do that. just on paper, holds onto her coffee, goes in the next room
and finds paper, pen, envelope and stamp and send stuff to nasa for an application immediately. this is a woman who is dead set on being an academic. she totally knew what she was going to do the rest of her life. she painted, turns on a dime. it totally changed her life. in 25,000 people also sent in for that particular application. a little over 8000 actually applied. of them, 1500 were women. sally was chosen a year later along with 34 other people. they were the first class of astronaut chosen just for the space shuttle program. and what was so unusual about it, as i said is for the worst time, nasa was not only willing to allow women and minorities into the program, but they actually reached out for them. in the beginning, and the space program was about men.
it was about white men. they were very brave am a very smart very accomplished. they did in iraqi listings. but they all had for the most part they have military backgrounds. but not all of them. most of them. president eisenhower in the beginning set in the sheet in response to the sputnik satellite that have been launched if we are going to space program, we want to fast track and therefore we need to get individuals who are to have training, who already know how to fly jet, although this had nothing to do with flying a jet, and who understand danger and are already vetted for security reasons. there is no reason whatsoever women could not have flown in those early flights, but they chose to do it the other way and so for the first quarter century, that was really what it was. after the last man left the moon in 1972, we then had skylab.
we have the program with the soviets who are now becoming our friends. but it wasn't so if the space shuttle, which was a different kind of spacecraft that they could actually reach out for more individuals. the reason was in part because the space shuttle was like a plane. it was much bigger than the capsules that it taken our men to the moon. john glenn used to joke that you didn't get into a space capsule, you put it on. they were really small, the original ones. now we have a space plane. now we have a space plane, the shuttle, which can handle crews have seven, eight, nine, lots of people. so they look for more individuals and they're also looking for women and minorities because what they want to add to the pilots are the covert of pilot is to have my tastes. and this is where sally finally got her chance.
so now sally is chosen to be an astronaut. this is quite an amazing thing. sally was very private. she was absolutely natural for. there's that myers-briggs psychology scale and on one side or the ice for the nature of earth and on the other side of the east for the extrovert. very cool under pressure, made her a perfect astronaut of course. but when she got the call of january 1978 saint she had made it, she jumped up and down screaming, was so excited. -- sally said being an astronaut
has just solved my dad's problem. when i said i was going to be an astrophysicist, yet not a clue how to lane to my friends for a day. now that i'm an astronaut@ pairgain knows what that is. with sally going into space and her sister studying for the ministry, joyce said while one of them will get to have been. but before she got there, sally learned have been elevated to the astronaut corps also met a seen a press corps with very little imagination. this is january 1978. two russian women have flown. we know almost nothing about them and now there are six win in the name to the astronaut corps. so sally the academic at stanford remember those who were first press conference. never in her life been at a press conference. and she is subject to questions
that kurds are afraid of being in orbit with all of those men? and then we had coming to expect expect to run into any ufos? valley, answered no to the latter and assure the former that her academic career as an astrophysics student had made her very calm around males. i first met sally in 1981 when abc asked me to join our team covering the then upcoming space shuttle program and those of you obviously remember we had a great team prepared to do. we have science course on it who would practically invented the field named jules bergman who could not be beat. but they wanted somebody else. i described in addition to the team as i was the color guy in the baseball booth. i was there to do this feature stories on the sideline things good for a variety of reasons i am up everything until the challenger explosion and it was a great assignment. but my very first assignment, my
first trip to the john space center in houston was to do a story on the so-called new breed of astronauts. that's these mission specialists who are no longer the hotshot pilot. sally was one of the people now say gave us to interview. the two of us just hit it off instantly. i like her manner. i like your sense of humor. i love the fact that she spoke english and not tech.top and the fact she she would not either to or not the women's movement. but she didn't do this alone. this is something that i've taken a lot of social pressure and she was very proud of that. i also asked her one point in my first interview in 1981, why do you want to go into space? is expecting one of these cocky responses in one of these canned response is a jet pilot would give you. sally said i don't know. i discovered half the people would love to go into space and there's no need to explain it to
them. but if someone doesn't and the other half can't understand i can't explain it to them. if someone doesn't know what i can't explain it, which was quite refreshing in this fraternity of white male fighter pilot jobs. as a program developed and i wound up anchoring abc's coverage, we spent a lot of time together. we painted over culture and funny stories that it dies around the jump space center including one that was promised mudwrestling on friday nights that we manage to avoid. when she married her fellow astronaut, steve holy, their home became a and pizza hangout during other people's machines. sally got her big chance five years later -- five years after she got to nasa. i think she was the right choice. any one of the six women would have done us proud. they are all very talented. they are a very accomplished. they would've been terrific.
sally was the right choice for a variety of reasons. she was staring. she was an optimist. she trained endlessly. she answered questions tireless way. but all of that attention on her with very trying and eight days culminate in what i do believe is the single dumbest question ever asked of anyone at any press conference anywhere. and i've got a lot of press conferences. now is the question is on the video that was asked by a fellow from "time" magazine throughout the final preflight press conference said to sally, what happens when there is a problem. do you weep? there was a gasp from the audience as it was in this room when he heard it before. there was a lot of high a ball rolling. what is extraordinary about sally and he saw her reaction is how she responded. she didn't go for the guy's eyes. she didn't say a nasty horrible thing. she laughed, smiled, turns to
the pilot of her crew and says, why doesn't anybody ask rick these questions in defuses the entire theme. it was absolutely brilliant. i am sure that nasa was high-fiving at south some of the managers in the back room when the south bend. another male reporter actually asked sally, did you ever wish you were a boy? sallet gritted her teeth. i've seen the video, and said no i never thought about it. within that said there were a few other hurdles they had to leave. sally was chosen, she said they had to make a lot of decisions about things like what kinds of things would go in the personal toiletries kit when they took off, that kind of thing. sally was smart enough to immediately bring in the other five women and say we are doing this as a group because any decision she made was going to devolve on the next person and the next in the next. so they did manage to get the old spice after shave lotion and
the burger sterling deodorant replaced with more female friendly lotions and potions and they also managed to get nasa to add a pair restraint. we call them rubber bands. but it wasn't just nasa and it wasn't just the press. when the original launch date was moved at a couple months to accommodate a schedule change, it wasn't a delay. johnnie carson job on the tonight show that the space shuttle had been delayed so that sally ride to get a purse to match your shoes. i screened all of the johnnie carson jokes about sally after that. they only got worse when they were awful frat house gags. i'm happy to tell you that the audience over time ignore them and then started doing him. the idea of an american woman in space had gone from becoming the punchline to the amount of
national pride to the entire nation was writing with sally when she lifted off in june 1983. just before she went i want to want to interview that he saw the video. yes sir, what, do you feel under any special pressure because you are the first american woman. she said yes i feel under pressure. the pressure not to miss a good what she meant what she felt pressure not to mess up for her crew. and a space mission is a group effort into the team event and she wanted to ball for the crew. she wanted to do well for the mission. she wanted to do well for grasso. she wanted to do well for the united states and she wanted to do well for the future of human spaceflight. overall i think she wanted to do well for women because if she messed up, her term, that it would be said that no woman could ever fly again as one would messed up and she
understood her she did well that would open the door for the rest of them. listening to this comment from a female astronaut from a later generation. a woman by the name of pamela melroy would not only but commanded us a shuttle to one of the few women to have done that. she says it wasn't until after he became an astronaut but i discovered the most important gift sally gave me, which is she was tremendously competent. the reputation of everyone who comes after you depends on how well you do. sally opened the doors and smooths the path for a woman because she was very good at what she did. i think that it's really the secret of why the mission was so important and why her choice was so critical. she was also not only good, but really playful. the night before the launch, the afternoon before the launch, sally was -- her picture was on every magazine cover. she was the most famous person on the planet.
every reporter at the kennedy space center wanted to see her, wanted to interview her. astronauts are put in quarantine for a couple of days before they fly so we humans don't give them any stray germs that could really, really screwed the mission. so sally was in quarantine and never wanted to know what was going on. there was a lid on the whole thing. so i'm sitting in her abc news workspace, which of course was a trailer to debut for working on my script for that nice piece on the phone rings and they say it's for you appear to pick up the phone and the little voice at the other and says hi there. what are you doing in five minutes. i said i don't know, what am i doing five minutes. walk outside, turn left on the go down gravel path is not. and i did that in there with sally and cutouts, a t-shirt, flip flops against a car
25 yards away waving at me. what she was doing the same she was number one pushing the envelope a little bit because the rules were no contact with the press and sally understood she could do things her way of little bit without really breaking the rules. she also wanted me to see she was smiling and happy and also wanted me to do something to report that my money at the sally ride was doing well thank you very much. this was the way i remember her best. so off she goes on a beautiful, gorgeous june morning. they had an absolutely perfect flight in one of my standard closes that week said, i said technologically nasa is pushing towards the 21st century, but in them in terms of this finally entered the 20th. and i did have a little trouble getting that out. this will not surprise you, olivia.
i also took my mother to the launch. my mother was pushing 80 and loved it and afterwards she said was perfect. she said i saw the horse and buggy, and the airplane and now this. i felt really good. when they landed a week later at edwards air force base in california, president reagan telephoned his congratulations and said to sally, someone said sometimes the best man for the job is the woman. you were there because you're the best person for the job comeau which is absolutely true and millions of people around the world agree, particularly young women. they translated herb gold german tour on tickets for success in the thinking was if she can do that, i can do anything. whether it was getting out of the typing pool or medical school or whatever, many women wanted to do, this open the door for an awful lot of women. sally had a wonderful time. she worked very hard.
one of the thing she did was put on astronauts to and things got a little slow, which was rare, she would drift in which the window and looked back at errors. the image she saw of the earth with the earth's atmosphere totally changed her life. she said it was as if someone had taken a royal blue cran and drop a line around the earth. sometimes you change the metaphor. she would say the line is as witness the fuzz on a tennis ball. or she would face the earth spacesuit. that's our atmosphere, the only thing that's protecting us from the harsh reality of outer space. without the atmosphere, none of us would be here. we could not survive and that's when she began to wonders being fragility of the planet we live on a directed a huge amount of her life towards getting science and government and children interested in doing something about protect the mayor.
that was just the beginning of sally's contributions to the planet into nasa. after the challenger explosion of core she served on the rogers commission which investigated that a nasa turns out became the source. i did not know this until i found this while researching the book. she was an early source of the critical revelation about the o. rings and their contribution to the accident and also the flood management decisions made. with nasa essentially shut down to repair the system and reconfigure the program, sally moved here to washington where she undertook a major study at nasa headquarters to determine the future of the space station he and that is the one she recommended first something called mission to planet earth, which was true to earth an exotic planet the same way we look at mars and venus and everything else out there and expending some of our vast energy and wisdom on fixing what
is going on here. not only before, but at the same time as were going other places. this is a huge step forward. over the years she served other commissions and also the investigative commission when the columbia disintegrated in 2003 on its reentry to earth. she was the only shuttle astronaut to serve on both commissions and made a huge contribution to that also. when sally was the bright new faces nasa and now she was the conscience. she cared about this race agency, really wanted to fix that when something went wrong and later in life when she left nasa, she worked with nasa on many, many projects. she got them to put a camera in space. first on the shuttle and then on the space station and hope that it was kids classrooms so youngsters could sit in a classroom, punch buttons and
take pictures of parts of the earth if they wanted to study. she called back or a scam. when someone else is setting up satellites to do research in the orbit around the moon, sally put a camera on the satellite and get kids in school to take pictures of the moon and she called that moved him. she was always giving out with kids. this is the she wanted to do and not she was building up to. being first to sign the she didn't want to be the only one. she wanted to awaken young female minds to the wonder of science yet experienced that captivated her. she wanted to inspire the next generation of america's engineers do not petition for an astronaut and she wanted to teach them that she'd grown up believing that if you are a girl, you could've got to anything. she wanted them to see beyond the stereotypes and she wanted it to be a for-profit company because she thought it would be the way to attract the most talent. she said over and over we need to make science cool again.
so she and a couple partners started a company called sally ride science which still exists in soul purpose is to get middle-school girls and boys as well interested in not inside and take knowledge he can get them committed to it. so that's the woman i knew, and smart and witty pal who would come to stay with me in new york and go out and slay during the day and at night it would come home and find her flopped on my living room floor with her shoes off and likes him a coffee table watching television. she was a superb mark until a fair comment able to focus like a laser. her roommate samford said she could study through whistling tea kettle. and sally told another reporter she was also able to go home at night and quotes, flipped the switch marked oblivious. she could just disappear into "star trek," "star wars" or many other less accomplished things that she watched.
there were of course the things they did not know about sally, but as they say she was a private individual, kept a lot of things. i did not know she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had 17 months to live. i did not know she been living with tam and i didn't appreciate the site price she paid for all of her fame. this was very costly to her. this is a woman who did prefer even the library stacks are by herself for what one friend and she made tens of thousands of speeches and had to save herself up for every single one. but she understood she had flown at government expense, that we had paved the way, that it was a government agency public relations as part of the gift bag. she went out there and just today. her legacy is completely secure. in the course of writing this book, the family, close friends
and colleagues, i learned things about her i had no idea about, but i found this a mixture or a woman i had known when i covered her. she was at base a california girl who wanted to save the planet, an introvert whose radiant spirit pulled her into public service. she was an academic who could explain rain drops to a class full of college students in the wonders of what was eschewing full of little girls. she was really lucky with her parents, very progressive individuals. her father was a purple heart in world war ii, world war ii, an eisenhower republican. her mother was a complete lefty who loved the fact that her vote canceled out her husbands every single time. they both believed in education. sally was an emphasis after sputnik and she was a little grove and sputnik went up in she benefited from all of that. i was in high school. i remember going outside in my
backyard on a cold november night and looking up and see this thing going around, the thing that started the space race in the space age. you turn on the radio and it was really scary. sally benefited from the push from the christian science after that. she benefited from the women's movement. she did not plan her life far in the van and when opportunity knocks, she was ready to open the doors celebrate through a period i used to tell her this coming summer she said in the stanford union that day when she read the article that said nasa was looking for women, the fact she could change your career plans like that, that she could just move on it i thought was a great lesson. sally took a different moral from that moment and she were dead and two student audiences. i guess the messages reach your college newspaper. she did it all with a smile. when she returned from first
sight, she flew twice in june of 83 after all the work she had done, she sits on the tarmac thing i'll remember most about this site is that it was fun. i'm sure was a must for over half an eye life. she had plenty of fun later on. years later she elaborated facing another turn with a dozen youngsters can imagine a room twice the size of your the size of your she was to do the kids come up much in this room is space. you could do 35 somersault in a row. she was save my favorite in the best bases being weightless. there's not even a close second. every eye of the road a huge and why did all the kids would immediately signed up to the astronauts. sally was an icon to kids and grownups alike. she was 55 and a half and could intimidate the best of them. as my colleague but it was only after you left your presence that he realized she was really short. it was the ability to be bigger than you actually are. she was a child of the
eisenhower years who was inspired by kennedy, marched against nixon, flew under reagan and advise clinton and obama, always capturing and challenging than that of our times teaching our world. flying in space is not her childhood goal bardot commitment but having done it twice to cherish the event chair. i call what i've learned from sally flying lessons because she taught me that she can teach all of us how to fly high without ever leaving the earth. i think her life remind us that whatever our own personal limits, there's always been out there we can measure were marvelous we can imagine that something that is just waiting to be explored. she proved that we don't need to napalming to have the right stuff. in any field, in any endeavor and after smashing through the ultimate glass ceiling without messing up, her term she's our
backfield to alternate left in the she was asked over and over, what did you see out there? what was it like? sally who are undergraduate degree in physics had a double major as an undergraduate. she also majored in english, which i truly hate her for her. she was a shakespearean. can you imagine? says sally puts science and eloquence together and treated you to the dazzling reality that she sought out there into a beam of encouragement for the rest of us on earth. what did she see out there? am going to repeat the words he saw the screen. she was save the stars don't look bigger, but they do look brighter. i think it is exactly the message you want to hear from the first american woman in space. and that is, a 70 can-do person who made us all believe that this is a wonderful way to live our lives. thank you very much. [applause]